A well-thought-out schedule and thorough planning are critical to project success. Scheduling is a process used to determine timing, sequence, and assembly of operations in a project to predict the overall completion time. The plan is to accomplish the deliverables set against time. Scheduling is just one component of planning efforts.
Large construction projects which are started without having effective project controls in place are likely to fail. Construction planning and scheduling are imperative to the success of a project; they create an integrated work environment where it becomes easy to properly allocate resources, get all stakeholders on the same page, and proceed production without bottlenecks. Because of the vitality of project scheduling, it is important that project owners and contractors put efforts into creating a detailed and accurate schedule before taking on a project.
Planning is a key component that continues through project closeout and requires due diligence. Stakeholders involved in a project both need and benefit from project planning and scheduling but from different perspectives. The following are some of the reasons why project scheduling is imperative:
Project completion date
In most construction projects, contractors are obligated to complete a project by the timeline mentioned in the contract. The contractor has to make sure that his schedule meets the completion date. Completing a project later than the contractually required can often lead to penalties. Some project activities, such as ordering material, may require special attention. Scheduling helps managers identify long-lead items that may have to be ordered several days in advance.
One of the functions of a general contractor is to coordinate amongst subcontractors and to ensure that all subcontractors have adequate workspace. Scheduling ensures operational efficiencies when one activity depends on the completion of another. For example, the painter cannot start painting until the drywall has been installed.
Construction planning and scheduling improves work efficiency; having effective materials management and properly distributing resources reduce costs and saves time. Integrated project controls enhance the capability of a team to ensure project success within schedule constraints and budget.
Cash Flow and delay claims
A thorough schedule shows the cash flow at any given time and will allow the contractor to decide whether or not it is financially viable for him to take on such a project.
Construction delay claims are the most common types of disputes in the construction industry. Unanticipated circumstances can extend a project and prevent tasks from being performed as initially planned. Project schedule can be used to accurately prove delay claims.
The role of project control
For a number of reasons, construction projects can deviate from the initially crafted schedule. Project control studies the details of how progress is measured and performance is tracked. It provides the necessary tools to evaluate a project at any stage. The quality of baseline schedule data plays a key role during the project tracking process.
Project controls play a critical role when it comes to anticipating and analyzing problems. In large construction projects, it is essential to observe current project status and calculate project performance variance. In today’s competitive environment, observing strict adherence to schedule and delivering a project on time often defines the difference between failure and success.
Specialty Plant Services is an industry leader in project controls providing a number of industries with the right tools and information to help them keep projects on track. We use highly advanced software, construction sequencing and 4D simulation tools to improve schedules and help you streamline your project. Feel free to schedule a free consultation!